Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A rare letter written by Mozart sold for $217,000 according to Boston-based RR Auction. The one-page signed note in German is undated, but was probably written in the summer of 1786 to the composer’s close friend, the great Austrian botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, asking him to return three musical scores by way of messenger. “I ask you to send me by the bearer of this, the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the ‘New Trio in g.’

The pieces Mozart refers to are his Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor (K. 478, 1785), Violin Sonata No. 33 in E-flat major (K. 481, 1785), and Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G Major (K. 496, 1786). This last ‘new trio in g’ was completed on July 8, 1786, and thus this letter probably dates to shortly thereafter. While K. 478 was published as early as December 1785, the other two would see publication in 1786. The edition of Mozart’s ‘Briefe und Aufzeichnungen’ by Bauer and Deutsch hypothesizes that the composer required the latter two works in order to prepare them for publication However, Mozart is known to have written to the Prince of Furstenberg on August 8, 1786, offering him a number of compositions including these three clustered together at the end of his list. Thus, Mozart’s request would appear to be in connection with his plans of offering them to the Donaueschingen court.

“Mozart letters are among the most sought after of all musical autographs, and with such specificity concerning his own compositions this is a truly outstanding example,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

More details, including results can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

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